On Friday night I reluctantly took the hand of a studly 24 year old cowboy from Fort Worth after a girlfriend of mine walked right up to him and told him I needed to learn how to dance. With no hesitancy on his part at all, he firmly grabbed my hand and lead the way. For about 3 minutes he twirled me all around while Pat Green serenaded in the background. In that very moment I learned two very important lessons.
Lesson #1- Never, never, never lie about not knowing how to dance.
Let’s first discuss the irony of this story, which really not what I wanted to write about, but it’s necessary to get it out of the way. Earlier in the evening an older, much less handsome gentleman asked me to dance and I told him I had no idea how to dance. In his persistence he commented on my boots and I countered with, “you have no idea how popular and fashionable cowboy boots are right now, do ya?”
There is no dancing around this…I told a lie. Not a big fat lie, but a lie none the less. And I paid for it. Apparently dancing was in the cards for me Friday night whether I liked it or not.
Lesson #2- Let the worry go and just go with the flow!
At first I was a bit wobbly on my feet, or that may have been a wobble in my weak knees at the sight of this curly locked cowboy (wink, wink), and it really wasn’t working out in my favor. The fretting immediately started to set in as I began to worry about the count of the music, whether I was going to squash his handsome toes, or miss his hand in a turn.(Can toes be handsome? If they can, I’m sure his were.) I’m sure you can guess what happened. I stepped on his handsome toes, totally messed up a simple two step, and missed his hand in a turn. But in that very moment, I looked straight into his face with his cute dimpled smile and heard him say, “no problem, let’s try it again.”
In an instant the thought entered my head to just stop thinking so hard. Just. Let. The. Worry. Go. And so I did.
I relaxed, staid in close, and just let him lead for the remaining minute or two of the song. And guess what? No more squashing toes or missing turns. Success!
Lesson #2 was definitely the one that has stuck with me. As the days have passed and I think back to my evening with good friends, Pat Green, and the handsome cowboy from Ft. Worth, I can’t help but think how life is so similar to those two minutes on the dance floor. I so often get caught up in worry of stepping on toes, and missing the next step in life, that I just screw it all up. But when I relax, take a deep breath, and just follow where I am lead, then things all seem to work out so much easier and better than I could have expected!
Even when I am running, I sometimes think more about how I am going to make myself get to that last planned mile or keep my tracker from telling me my pace is slowing. Those runs are usually the ones that are less successful. But when I turn off the noise and stop planning a distance or worrying about the planned distance, then I am a better runner.
With this in mind, I reflected on my San Fran Run and my Saturday morning run. During San Fran, I did listen to the little voice telling me how far I had run and my time, but I was so taken in by the sights around me that her voice was distant. It was more of a comfort that someone, even if she was a virtual someone, knew where I was in a foreign city and state. This last weekend, I turned her down and just ran. On the heels of a lot of work frustration, I headed out with a tentative plan to not run more than 7 since next week is the race. But it was just a “not more than”, not “an I have to do at least.” Plus, I turned down the little virtual person voice that gives me my stats. And guess what? I ran 5.2 miles in 47:07. That’s an average pace of 9:04. WHAT?! Who’s that girl?!
So hats off to you, handsome cowboy from Fort Worth, for being an instrumental part of a life lesson reminder in those three minutes we spent together. What a sweet memory to re-visit each time I need a reminder to just slow down, let my worry go and go with the flow!